23 June, 2010
Wine Word Wednesday: Tartrates.
Ever open a bottle of white wine and see white crystals on the bottom of the cork? Or for that matter have you ever seen white stuff in the bottom of your glass of white wine? You might think they look like sugar or perhaps a bit of glass. Fear not, your wine is not bad, it's just a tartrate.
Tartrates are cystalline deposits that separate from the wine during fermentation and aging. It orginates as part of tartaric acid, the most important acid found in wine. Without it and other acids, wine would be incredibly bland. Acid also acts like a preservative, allowing both reds and whites to age. As the wine gets older, the acids soften.
So next time you see the white crystals in your wine, impress your friends by dismissing them as just part of the wine making process.